|Welcome to our website for our ongoing series of experimental cinema in San Francisco. We show films every Saturday at ATA Gallery, 992 Valencia (@ 21st). Showtime 8:30pm, admission* $6 .|
|SAT. 2/20: DAMON PACKARD's NAUSICAA+ MU DVD LAUNCH
Danger, Danger! In the flesh, all of it, the legendary Damon Packard descends upon our Bay Area idyll with a shopping cart full of both old and new works! The Bay Area premiere of his half-hour Nausicaa: Tales of the Valley of the Wind composes an experimental love-letter to the spiritual world of Hayao Miyazaki, refiguring the anime into lush live-action scenes with period costumes, horses, swordplay, and, er...puppets. PLUS a choice selection of his other rarely-seen shorts, Including Blade Runner II and Roller Boogie III. Damon will additionally christen (with complimentary champagne for all!) the launch of the DVD edition of his tour-de-force performance in Craig Baldwin's Mock Up on Mu, unspooling his favorite chapter and a behind-the-scenes glimpse that's part of the disc. Co-star Kal Spelletich is also on hand with his dynamic dueling robot, whilst keyboardist Doug Katelus works between the gallery's kinetic-art fracas and the big-screen 16mm imagery of another Japanese folk-meme, Gamera, the Flying Turtle. *$6.66.
|SAT. 2/27: ROSS LIPMAN & BLF's INQUIRY TOWARDS THE PRACTICE OF SECULAR MAGIC
Enjoy pranks, hoaxes, forgeries, guerrilla theater, and social sculpture in an empowering tapestry of transfiguring reality! Filmmaker/archivist Ross Lipman and the Billboard Liberation Front's Jack Napier present an evening of secular magic; the alchemical act of transmuting everyday life into fiction--and vice versa. Their Inquiry examines actions, including films, performances, essays, and rare archival documents, that turn reality inside out. The line-up includes: a PowerPoint performance on the birth of the TV Spectacle, Ferdinand Marcos hustling a tribe of "cave people" to feed his wife's shoe habit, an enigmatic Butoh performance in the streets of Brooklyn (by SF expat artist Leigh Evans), and the latest breathtaking hijinks of the heroic Billboard Liberation Front. Through a collaboration with the Pacific Film Archive, we've been able to arrange this extraordinary return of Mr. Lipman, internationally renown for his preservation projects at UCLA.
|CINEMA OF THE ABYSS|
|SAT. 3/6: CINEMA ABATTOIR's CINEMAS, HEAVINESS
Emerging from the vault of Montreal's occult film society Cinema Abattoir (Slaughterhouse), Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt presents Le cinema, l'apesanteur, a program that exposes the latent image, the one situated inside the menacing Spiral itself. Satanism, Nature, Love, and Mysticism are all motoring against the clear-image (Death). The perforations and fragmentation never become Symbol, and never were. Instead, if looking long enough without ever blinking, its essence is emanating. It is in this breathing-space (the Spiral) that the Light merges, maybe in-between the frames? Look into my eyes! each of these films whispers: Jean-Claude Labrecque's Essai à la Mille (1970), Alexandre Larose's Brouillard (2009), Pierre-Luc Vaillancourt's Neuf Oeufs Noirs (2010), Serge de Cotret's Sacré-coeur de Satan (2008), Solomon Nagler's The Sex of Self-Hatred (2004), Karl Lemieux' Mouvement de Lumière (2004), Étienne O'Leary's Chromo Sud (1968). Co-produced with Christine Metropoulos and SF Cinematheque, *$9.99.
|FAT CATS FOR PIRATE CAT|
|SAT. 3/13: THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD + CULT-JAMSA benefit event, this sneak preview of Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno's new feature is a TRUE screwball comedy about two gonzo political activists who, posing as top executives of giant corporations, lie their way into big business conferences and pull off the world's most outrageous pranks. From New Orleans to Bhopal to New York City, armed with little more than cheap thrift-store suits, the Yes Men squeeze raucous humor out of all the ways that corporate greed is destroying the planet. Brüno meets Michael Moore in this gut-busting wake-up call that proves a little imagination can go a long way towards vanquishing the Cult of Greed. PLUS now-rare glimpses of earlier Yes Men iterations: Portland actions, Barbie Liberation Organization, ®(TM)ark; and more culture-jamming from their predecessors (Joey Skaggs), and from those they've inspired (host Bryan Boyce, Institute of AppIied Autonomy, et al.) Portion of proceeds go the defense of the Mission's own Pirate Cat Radio, whose founder, Monkey, will be present for a community update. *$7.|
|SAT. 3/20: EXTREME ANIMATION: PAPER RAD, N. BOYCE, M. COLBURN +This eye-popping orgy of high-energy pixilation showcases some of the most aggressively ingenious graphic masters in the States today. Shalo P steps in as guest emcee to introduce the torrent of tropes, trips, tricks, and tits that reflect the manic obsessions of underground collage, scratch-video, and neo-psychedelic compositors. An absurdly dazzling 20-miin. set (including a cameo by Shana Moulton) of Jacob (Paper Rad) Ciocci's West Coast premieres provides the post-Pop anchor for the program, while our kinky Queen of Quirk Martha Colburn commences the show with the Bay Area debut of her two new works, Electric Literature, and Triumph of the Wild Pt. II. Nate Boyce premieres his sublimely abstrakt Polygon, John Jota Leaños contributes his kinetic cult-fave Los ABCs, Kelly Sears shares He Hates to Be Second, and Shalo himself pitches in with a piece specially made for the occasion. PLUS other flickering pix from Semiconductor, TV Sheriff, Thomas Helman, and a chestnut from Cory McAbee. Come early for a spectacular sampling of Colburn's light-show collaborations with Deerhoof!|
|SAT. 3/27: SHIMOMITSU + SOFTSERVE + CYRUS + SHALO +
Consumer-grade media-tech has come into the hands of a younger generation of abstract artists who choose to freely fuse visual and audio expression. Certainly the Bay Area has been a hotbed for the rich cross-fertilization and robust growth of this exciting Live A/V synthesis. Shimomitsu--Shemoel Recalde and Joshua Roberts--stitch a crazy quilt from both conventional instruments and new electronics, accompanied by their own visual mix. Softserve (Erik Wilson and Mbryo) max out on Jitter to generate their own fractal waterfall of audio-visual Noise. In Omori, resident artist Cyrus Tabar splits his fingers between analog and digital devices, while. Shalo the P initiates the proceedings with his performance-arty Bedroom Suite. The four acts are punctuated by pause-worthy commas of other synaesthetic works. And of course: Dream Machine in effect! *$7.77.
| SAT. 4/3: ECC / MURNAU's NOSFERATU + COPYRIGHT CRIMINALS +
Performed only once before, Evolution Control Committee's radically eclectic soundscape for FW Murnau's horror classic Nosferatu is a meticulous mix of soundtracks from other movies (how "Other Cinema" can you get?)! Iconic/ironic snippets from the classic tracks of The Sound of Music, Jaws, Dr. No, Star Wars, and dozens of others are DJ'd live from turntable, transmuted through Trademark G's magical sleight-of-hand into an uncannily appropriate unified soundtrack! PLUS: Copyright Criminals, a new doc by Kembrew McLeod and Ben Franzen, examines the creative and commercial value of musical sampling, including the ongoing debates about artistic expression and copyright law. Showcased are many of Hip Hop's legendary figures, like Public Enemy, De La Soul, George Clinton, Digital Underground, DJ Spooky, Eclectic Method, and Mark Hosler (of Negativland). PLUS an assemblage of Negativland's own audio-visual citations. NOTE: Early doors at 7:45, CC at 8, ECC at 9. *$7.
|SAT. 4/10: SACHS' WIND IN OUR HAIR + HOUSE OF SCIENCE +
Inspired by the stories of Argentine writer Julio Cortazar, yet blended with the realities of contemporary Latin America, here's the world debut of Wind in Our Hair, Lynne Sachs' (in person) experimental narrative about four girls discovering themselves through a fascination with the trains that pass by their house. A magic-realist tale of early-teen anticipation and disappointment, the 42-min. lyric is circumscribed by a period of profound Argentine sociopolitical unrest. Shot with 16mm, Super 8mm, and Regular 8mm film and video, the rites of passage proceed from train tracks to sidewalks, into costume stores, kitchens, and into backyards in the heart of today's Buenos Aires. PLUS: In her House of Science: A Museum of False Facts (1991), Sachs suggests that the mind/body split so characteristic of Western thought is particularly troubling for women, who may feel themselves moving between the territories of the film's title--private, public, and idealized space--without wholly inhabiting any of them. Conceptions of Woman are explored through home movies, personal reminiscences, staged scenes, found-footage and voice-over. ALSO Lynne's Atalanta: 32 Years Later; Noa, Noa; and Photograph of Wind.
| SAT. 4/17: CUMP's CALIFORNIA IS AN ISLAND + DENNING + BRAVOS
Drawing on accounts of Conquistador Hernan Cortes' attempt to colonize Baja California, 16th Century cartographies, and a romance/adventure novel ripe with Amazons; this sneak-preview of (in person) Sarolta Cump's 20-min. experimental doc investigates the fantasies, fears, and fetishes of European explorers through a post-colonial queer lens, and with a bawdy sense of humor to boot! ALSO here for intro and Q&A, Nara Denning's Neurotique No. 6 is an 8-min. "neo silent film" of erotic fantasy, rife with surreal imagery and dark humor. Denning combines the influences of German Expressionism and avant-garde cinema to breathe new life into the notion of the cine-poem. PLUS Former SF artiste and now new faculty at UMich, Alexis Bravos' Argonaut, a 16mm biography of the 19th Century writer/explorer Eliza Farnham, in which a single event in her life is oh-so-cinematically re-imagined. AND Martha Colburn's Wonder Woman animation, Mike Kuchar's Paradise Gone, 3-D Venus Fly-Traps, and Handsome Sam Green, segueing from a Sarah Jacobson clip into an invitation to
apply for the grant in her name, for emerging women makers. Sangria! *$7.
|STEREO SOUND AND VISION|
| SAT. 4/24: KERRY LAITALA & EATS TAPES + PAD MCLAUGHLIN +
We are lucky indeed to catch the mercurial Kerry Laitala between a couple of her European engagements. The Goldie-awardee and maker behind The Muse of Cinema brings an extraordinary new dimension to our microcinema screen...that is, of DEPTH! This true Frisco original has seized upon a retinal quirk, the ChromaDepth Effect, and gleefully exploited the phenomenon with a delirious dose of Kodachrome. Kerry presents (at least) four 3-D pieces: Afterimage: A Flicker of Life, Chromatic Frenzy, and a pair too new to even name. This stereoscopic spectacular is accompanied by the electronic hues of phonic faves Eats Tapes (Marijke Jorritsma and Greg Zifcak), who rave it up in their own righteous set. Preceding the Chromatic Cocktail serving is the high craft of 3-D vets Pad McLaughlin and Bob Bloomberg, with Pad's own debut Strata, Bob's Day of the Dead ethnographic, and a 3-wall in-depth immersion! *$7.77
| SAT. 5/1: JIM FINN's THE JUCHE IDEA + MAO's BIG RED BOMB +
The SF premiere of the last part of Finn's macro-political trilogy is an hr.-long faux doc about a South Korean videographer undertaking a North Korean art residency to help bring Kim Jong-Il's cinema into the 21st Century. Inspired by the real-life story of the So. Korean director kidnapped to invigorate the No. Korean film industry, the satire moves through the Party-worshipping paeans (including musicals) of our new official People's Artist. Following Finn's brilliant burlesque of the ideologically over-determined is a half-hr. paragon of Chinese propaganda, produced in lurid-red color in 1964 by their State Documentary Studio, gloriously reporting on their first successful H-bomb test. Come early for the last reel of Peking Duck Soup, a sarcastic Situationist send-up of Stalinist power-plays in the Chinese leadership during the last decade of Mao's rule. This montage anomaly, made by Rene Vienet and the recently deceased Francis Deron, was a wild provocation at the '77 Cannes Festival, and is a fearless example of how a collage of newsreels, kung-fu films, regional pop-music, and sardonic voice-over can so smartly serve our anti-authoritarian historical memory. Free plum wine with DJ Onanist!
|SAT. 5/8: ANT FARM + MEGAN PRELINGER's ATOMIC-AGE ARTIFACTUALITY
The West Coast debut of Laura Harrison and Beth Federici's feature doc What If, Why Not? Underground Adventures with Ant Farm delves into the work of that renegade '70s architecture collective, best known for its iconic land-art installation-piece in Amarillo, TX--Cadillac Ranch. Radical architects, video pioneers (Media Burn, Eternal Frame), and mordantly funny cultural commentators, the Ant Farmers (Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier here in person, Doug Michels deceased) built a body of subversive work that questions the status quo by posing a set of creative and comedic alternatives, mashing up Bucky Fuller and NASA with a love of trashy backyard Americana. Preceded by: Ms. Megan Prelinger, everyone's favorite librarian, with an amazing array of archival media artifacts from one of her marvelous Cabinets of Curiosity. Her nuanced readings offer personal guidance on this half-hr. tour of Space Race oddities, including the Birth of the Orbis Electronic Computer, All About Polymorphics, and home movies from the China Lake Weapons Center. TV dinners, Pop Rocks & Coke, and other explosive drink specials!
|SAT. 5/15: POTTER-BELMAR LABS + PEOPLE LIKE US +
Rolling in on the Starlight Express, Leslie Raymond and Jason Jay Stevens are back again in our live-cinema lab with another completely new A/V performance. The couple creates a real-time mix of improvised cinema, manipulating audio and video, weaving sampled media and original work, cut-up and stitched back together on the fly. It's been called "the storytelling of the future." We are honored to host them as they move up the West Coast, returning by popular demand! Opening the show is a half-hr. ensemble of old and new works, hot off the hard drive of our English ally Vicki Bennett (PLU), another practitioner of cut-and-paste collage, where found footage is re-contextualized with a Surrealistic edge. Vicki is posting her greatest hits, plus these three debuts: Parade, Skewed Gardens, and an exclusive mini-marvel for OC! *$7.
|SAT. 5/22: STRATMAN's O'ER THE LAND + SOE's OAK PARK STORY + PLANET ORD +
A vehicle of dense, discursive works about the meaning(s) of place: Deborah Stratman's 50-min. meditation on national identity, gun culture, consumption, and personal transcendence reconsiders contemporary tech-enhanced notions of Manifest Destiny. In person, Enid Baxter Blader invites us into her marvelous excavation of the de-commissioned Fort Ord Army base, now the home to California State University at Monterey Bay, where she teaches! ALSO in person, Valerie Soe's Oak Park Story, in its theatrical premiere, recounts the struggles of three very different families who find themselves together in a run-down Oakland slum. PLUS Ben Wood's Rendezvous at Alcatraz, Dara Greenwald's Hay!Market Action, and a new piece by Sylvia Schedelbauer. AND a select 10-min. excerpt from David Sherman's desert essay Wasteland Utopias, for those who missed this masterpiece last (rainy) season. *$7.
|AVANT TO LIVE|
|SAT. 5/29: NEW EXPERIMENTAL WORKS
Here's an energized evening of new cinematic efforts that champion personal expression and radical form. Constituting the season's most exploratory programming initiative--and with many of the makers in person--are Deborah Stratman's The Magician's House, Rodney Ascher's The S from Hell, Carl Diehl's Mind Children Get Headaches, David Cox' K-Wave, and Thomas Helman's df/dx. PLUS recent pieces by Richard Mitchell, Bryan Boyce, Karl Lind, Myrina Tunberg, Roger Beebe, Karla Claudio Betancourt, James T. Hong/Yin-Ju Chen, and others TBA. Capping the calendar-closer is an extraordinary aural/optical lumen-performance by "Yoshi Omori," with his supa-phat laser-beam!